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Today's Focus

Current Goals:

1) $1,000/mo. to short-term savings and $400/mo to investments.
2) Weigh less than 180 pounds by 12/31/21.
3) Read more books.

Previous Goal: Eliminate Mortgage on Rental Property
Interest Rate is 5.125%!

January 1, 2019: $59,592
August 11, 2020: PAID!


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Sunday, September 5

My Frugal Miser - August 2021 Expenses


My expenses for the month of August were reasonable.
  • I drove to Jacksonville to work a meeting, so gas expenses were high.  I received a reimbursement for travel expenses which will show up in the "reimbursed job expense" numbers.  While in Jacksonville my car battery died and I had to replace it.
  • Food was expensive.  We went on a weeklong vacation in Hawaii.  We were carless the first 3 days which limited our options on an already expensive island.  Our breakfast alone one day was $90.  Fortunately we found less expensive options after that, but it was still pricey! 
  • Our 15 month old Maytag washing machine stopped working.  I had to pay $276 for the repair.  Since I was under the impression Maytag was a high quality brand, I may contact Whirlpool (had no idea they owned the Maytag name!) to see about reimbursement.  There was only a 12 month warranty but we shall see.
  • I had to buy some new work clothes since my pre-pandemic outfits are too big.
  • Each month I allocate funds toward future home improvements.  This expense takes the place of rent or a mortgage since I own the house outright.  I allocated twice as much in August as I intend to.

Fun

We love adventures.  Spending on experiences makes us better humans.  
  • Hawaii makes up the bulk of our spending on fun.  Since the hotel and rental car were prepaid, expenses last month weren't too bad.
  • I made a payment towards a future cruise to take advantage of a cashback option on one of my credit cards.
  • While in Hawaii I bought a one year National Park pass for $80.  I hope to incorporate more national parks into our future vacations.

August Expenses:  $4,954

$500 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$85 Bank Fees (annual fee on Marriott card)
$125 Clothing/ Personal Care
$488 Fun (vacations, movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$1,071 Food
$73 Health and Dental
$2,444 Household/Home Repairs
$0 Unreimbursed Job Expense
($265) Reimbursed Job Expense income this month
$0 Interest Expense
$65 Miscellaneous
$218 Taxes
$149 Utilities 

Thursday, September 2

My Frugal Miser - August 2021 Income

August continues the trend of income exceeding expenses, although my income was lower than it has been in other months. 

The Airbnb was vacant 7 days, 5 of which I blocked because we were traveling.

Rental income was solid.  The tenant at the condo did not make an August rent payment.  I received two dividends in my taxable account at Realty Mogul.  I also received two payouts from Realty Mogul to my Self-Directed IRA.  I don't report retirement account activity in my income.

I worked two meetings in August which will be paid out in September.

August Income: $9,324

$0 Mystery Shopping/ Merchandising
$961 Meeting Jobs
$0 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$720 Amazon Deliveries
$3,582 Rental Income (Rental Expenses:  $428)
$3,283 Airbnb Income (Airbnb Expenses:  $1,232)
$11 Interest Income
$767 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  ($5,346)

Investment accounts were down a bit last month.  I have a short (bet against) position on AMC, which gained about 30% in August.  It defies logic, so I defiantly hold onto my short because eventually the stock will come crashing down.

Thursday, August 5

My Frugal Miser - July 2021 Expenses


My expenses for the month of July were reasonable.
  • We drove to Atlanta to work a meeting, so gas expenses were high.  I received a reimbursement for travel expenses which will show up in the August numbers.
  • Food was reasonable considering our special diet.  We barely ate out and most of the meetings provided food.
  • I paid the $49 annual fee for my Chase IHG card.  This specific card is no longer offered, but thus far I've been able to keep it.  I get a free night each year for having the card so the annual fee is a no-brainer.
  • Utilities were artificially high because the water bill was taken out twice.

Fun

We love adventures.  Spending on experiences makes us better humans.  
  • I prepaid to rent a car for a couple of days while we are visiting Hawaii.  The Big Island is the epicenter of the shortage of cars, and it was too expensive to justify renting for all 5 days we are there.  It's a good thing I rented when I did:  two days later not a single car was available to rent at any price.
  • I put a deposit on a 7 day Australian cruise for May 2022.  The price was too good to pass up:  $556/person + taxes/fees for a suite, plus $750 AUS onboard credit and free drinks in the casino.  We've never stayed in a suite and I'm really excited about it.  Plus, Australia!
  • Since my Platinum AMEX card is offering a $20 monthly credit for streaming and satellite subscriptions, I reinstated my SiriusXM account.  I paid $41 for 6 months, or $21 after the credit.

July Expenses:  $3,475

$347 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$49 Bank Fees (annual fee on IHG card)
$0 Clothing/ Personal Care
$731 Fun (vacations, movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$468 Food
$101 Health and Dental
$1,063 Household/Home Repairs
$0 Unreimbursed Job Expense
$30 Reimbursed Job Expense
$0 Interest Expense
$0 Miscellaneous
$247 Taxes
$500 Utilities 

Tuesday, August 3

My Frugal Miser - July 2021 Income

 July was yet another strong month for income.

The Airbnb was booked every day except 3 days I blocked.

Rental income was the strongest it has been this year.  The tenant at the condo, who is a bit behind, made two payments.  I received a hefty dividend payout on one of the apartments I invested in through Realty Mogul.

Meeting work and Amazon deliveries both picked up last month.

July Income: $13,330

$0 Mystery Shopping/ Merchandising
$1,822 Meeting Jobs
$0 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$1,390 Amazon Deliveries
$5,457 Rental Income (Rental Expenses:  $4,570)
$3,519 Airbnb Income (Airbnb Expenses:  $461)
$12 Interest Income
$1,131 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  $27,647

My investment accounts were up.  I sold the rest of my Vereit stock after shares were up.  I also sold my Moderna stock, which I held in two accounts.  The shares rose so fast, and I nearly doubled my money in just a couple months.  I would like to buy Moderna again if the shares fall a bit.